It’s officially summer. For many, this means it’s the start to family vacations, long days spent at the pool, and as much ice cream as your heart desires. However, for those living in Southern California, the start of summer also means the start of wildfire season. In order to help ensure your family is prepared, we are bringing you a two-part series dedicated to helping you fight the wildfire season.
As you may know, most of Earth’s natural disasters are considered a force of nature and many of them, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, can be predicted. However, since wildfires are typically caused by human acts, they cannot be predicted. That’s why it is up to you to help prevent wildfires. The first blog in our two-part series will cover just that, how to prevent wildfires.
There are several steps you can take to prevent wildfires, but in an effort to help you save time, we sifted through countless sources and picked out the top 10 steps you can take to prevent wildfires this summer.
- If you see an unattended fire or campfire, dial 911 or contact your local fire department or the park service immediately.
- Do not leave a fire unattended. Before you leave, cover the fire with water and stir the ashes until they are cold.
- Do not throw out cigarettes, matches, or any other smoking material from your car.
- If you need to burn backyard waste, keep a shovel and water nearby in case the surrounding grass catches on fire.
- Never start a controlled burn when windy conditions are present.
- Shooting fireworks? Be sure you use a water hose to wet down the grass in the surrounding area.
- Once you have used the fireworks, place them in a bucket of water to ensure they are extinguished.
- Do not allow children to use any type of firework, including poppers or sparklers unattended.
- Do not park unused cars and machinery on top of the dry grass.
- Ensure lids and caps are securely fastened on gasoline, oil, and other combustible material containers.
“Only YOU can prevent wildfires” is a slogan most commonly used by Smokey Bear. This very simple, but very true phrase, is one of the most important things to remember during the wildfire season.
It is important that each one of us do our part to limit property damage and keep our land intact by eliminating wildfires. Be sure to check back next week where we will discuss what to do during a wildfire.
Sources: Items 1 – 4, courtesy of National Geographic. Items 5 – 10 courtesy of the Red Cross.